Vulnerability and Adaptation to Ocean Acidification Among Pacific Northwest Mussel and Oyster Stakeholders

David J. Wrathall and George Waldbusser, Oregon State University

Ocean acidification (OA) is already harming shellfish species in the Pacific Northwest, a global hotspot of OA. While OA poses a threat to regional communities, economies, and cultures that rely on shellfish, identified gaps remain in adaptive capacity and vulnerability of several stakeholders. This project will address these gaps by extending long-standing collaborative OA vulnerability research with shellfish growers to include other shellfish users (e.g. port towns, Native American tribes and shellfish sector employees). The project includes five objectives: 1) Map variations in shellfisheries’ exposure to OA and identify those that are most sensitive, 2) quantify production losses from OA and costs of investment in adaptation 3) Identify potential pathways for adaptation, 4) identify key technological, institutional, legislative, financial and cultural barriers to OA adaptation, 5) evaluate the cost of potential adaptation strategies, and develop behavioral models to predict the likelihood of users adopting specific adaptation strategies. The research is designed to identify key vulnerabilities, determine the cost of OA to Pacific Northwest shellfish stakeholders, and to model adaptation pathways for maximizing resilience to OA. The adaptation framework developed here will be replicable in other shellfisheries yet to experience OA impacts.

 



Friday, December 22, 2017
What scientists are learning about the impact of an acidifying ocean

What scientists are learning about the impact of an acidifying ocean

OA-ICC

The effects of ocean acidification on marine life have only become widely recognized in the past decade. Now researchers are rapidly expanding the scope of investigations into what falling pH means for ocean ecosystems.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Acidified ocean water widespread along North American West Coast

Acidified ocean water widespread along North American West Coast

Oregon State University

A three-year survey of the California Current System along the West Coast of the United States found persistent, highly acidified water throughout this ecologically critical nearshore habitat, with 'hotspots' of pH measurements as low as any oceanic surface waters in the world.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Public Forum: Rosenberg Institute, “Ocean acidification: How does it impact the California Coast?”

April 5, 2017, Bay Conference Center at the Romberg Tiburon Centre, Tiburon, CA

The West Coast of the U.S. sits at the forefront of addressing impacts of OA, due to local oceanography and recent, catastrophic failures at oyster hatcheries over the past decade. Research along the West Coast has brought into sharp focus the potential local consequences of highly acidified seawater for aquaculture operations and California ecosystems more broadly. In response, states have mobilized in developing policy and science recommendations (e.g., WA Ocean Acidification Blue Ribbon Panel, and the West Coast Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Panel). This talk will review the science of OA, how it is impacting the California Coast, and how the West Coast states have shown leadership in addressing this problem.

Thursday, March 16, 2017
Study predicts decline in Dungeness crab from ocean acidification

Study predicts decline in Dungeness crab from ocean acidification

The Seattle Times

Dungeness crab are forecast to take a hit from ocean acidification driven by fossil- fuel combustion, according to a study released this past week. Though the populations of the Dungeness crab fluctuate year by year, their overall abundance by 2063 could be about 30 percent lower, according to federal fishery biologist Issac Kaplan, a co-author of the study, “We think that there will be a moderate decline in a species that is really economically important,” said Kaplan of the Dungeness, which were valued at some $220 million during the 2013 West Coast commercial season. Read more

Wednesday, January 18, 2017
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